Costa Rican authorities seized a ton of of cocaine and arrested five people in connection with the consignment, Security Minister Mario Zamora told a press conference.
Coast guard units were monitoring two boats carrying fuel along the southern Pacific coast Monday night when a third vessel met up with the first two to take on more fuel, he said.
At that point, the coast guard units moved in and seized all three boats, the minister said.
The coast guards found a ton of cocaine aboard the third boat and arrested five people, including three Colombian nationals residing in Costa Rica, while as many as four other suspects fled on foot.
Authorities think that the shipment, with a street value of more than $6 million, originated on Colombia’s Pacific coast and was bound for Mexico, Zamora said.
He called Tuesday’s seizure “a heavy blow to drug trafficking” and cited estimates that around 900 tons of cocaine a year are smuggled north via Central America.
Costa Rican authorities confiscated a total of 7.2 tons of cocaine in 2011 and discovered a ton of the drug buried on a Pacific beach earlier this month.